The office phone rang this morning. I hadn't planned on being available, but I picked it up anyway. The voice wished me a Happy New Year and asked how I was. Apart, from the fact that I knew my client had weathered some recent challenges, nothing would prepare me for what she was about to share. A serious situation on every level. Yet, she was concerned about me. Had it been a good Christmas?
As I struggled to wrap my head around the situation, I had to be real. The pat answer of 'yes, it was great' was just not right. Not when she had shared with such direct simplicity the painful drama in her own life. So, I told the truth. Holidays aren't always easy. There had been drama and I was still processing. It takes humility to admit that the life you want to live doesn't happen according to script. And to be OK with being real with that.
The challenge of living inside of the space of one's head is an interesting one. If you're any bit like me, conversations in my head play out all kinds of scenarios complete with Q&A long before they occur. If they occur at all. It can be a draining way to live, because 90% of the imagined scenarios never take place. But for the 10% that do - one is prepared!
However, when you're confronted with the stark reality of plans gone awry and the pain of dreams put on hold, because life has suddenly assumed a 'new normal, it forces you to step back from all the 'imagined' drama. It's a humbling experience to be reminded that life is a gift and not guaranteed to anyone. The phone call today brought this reality to a striking focus. So much of what seems so important is really not.
That's why pride is so deadly. It is a toxin that infiltrates reality by creating a false perspective of who we are and what we're here to do. Pride distorts reality by making us think our drama, our hurts, our anger should be the central theme. It also complicates communication. When we miss our way, personal drama contorts speech in ways that are hurtful and demeaning and in the process take an ounce or pound of flesh in the offering.
Moments like my conversation this morning are a type of gift because they force us awake. Bringing an awareness of the fact that no matter how much I think I know, have done or accomplished, at the end of the day, I'm simply a learner under discipline. And, the best part is being given the grace to continue to grow and learn with the understanding that to be in life, means that one is continuously 'under construction' in some capacity. God is a very creative instructor and I don't always understand the lesson plan. It's a humbling space and sometimes disquieting. And that tension in process is OK.